After almost two months, a lost dog has been returned to its owner after wandering around Yellowstone National Park.
It had been earlier reported that Jade, Denver-area graphic designer David Sowers’ Australian shepherd, had been found after running away from a July 23 car crash. Now details have emerged regarding how the dog was persuaded to return, after a nightmarish loop of visits and searching.
“Bottom line, it’s kind of funny,” Sowers said. “I’ve been telling people it’s like the movie ‘Groundhog Day.’ I feel like my life’s been on hold for 42 days while I’ve been looking for my lost dog. Now my life’s finally back to normal again.”
Roughly 25 people were involved in the effort to return Jade to Sowers. Their efforts included leaving out wet food in live traps, scented blankets, playing recordings of Sowers’ voice, and posting fliers. But perhaps the two most important players in this drama in getting Jade back were Laura Gillice, Sowers’ girlfriend and an agility trainer through the American Kennel Club, and her Australian shepherd Leila.
Waking at daybreak during one of their visits to the Canyon Village area (where Jade was reported seen multiple times) Gillice would walk Leila around and get her to bark, hoping Jade would hear and come running. As it ended up, Jade ended up seeking out Gillice and not Leila.
The reunion occurred around 7 a.m. this morning.
“It was a beautiful morning with the fog in the meadow and another couple had stopped to take pictures and out of the corner of my eye I saw this black and white movement.” Gillice said. “I asked the couple, because they had binoculars, ‘Is that a deer or a dog?’ and she said ‘It’s a dog.’ I just called to her in puppy voices. She just came running to me, like ‘Where’ve you been mom?’ “
Gillice leashed Jade while a friend held Leila before they walked back to the hotel where Dave was staying, feeding the skin-and-bones Leila bits of Spam as they went. Upon arrival, Laura opened the door to the hotel room and asked who wanted to see Jade. A “hugfest” ensued.
Gillice and Sowers plan on spending the rest of the day in Canyon Village before returning to Denver with Jade and Leila in tow, grateful to everyone involved in returning their dog to them.
Jade seems to be in fine condition, with no reported medical complications from her time spent in the Yellowstone backcountry.